of bunkers and colors
offered us the biggest surprize so far. I mean... what do you kow about
Albania? Kalasnikofs, refugees, piramide games, stolen mercedes, sheep,
bad roads, poverty. Is there anything positive you have ever heard about
this country? Even us, as interested people in Balkans, we have hardly
ever heard anything positive. The country was extremely closed for 50
years. The effects are in some cases remarkable but for the image it was
extremely destructive. How Albania could ever get rid of it's image is
a big question to me.
Albania has so much more then the elements of it's image. The long years
of isolation made people live in a small community. This probably supported
the pureness in language. Anywhere you can ask a question and you will
receive an reaction as an answer. In Albania you notice some seconds of
silence and finally an answer which gives very straight information and
continuation to the conversation. Albanian are pretty precize. To make
a radio program at a local station, the playlist has to be prepared days
upfront, the text been written down and the translation checked.
Communism, as anywhere, made there was a great education system about
arts, litrature, drama and so on.
Tirana, the colorfull capitol, is booming. We have met dozens of young
people who have lived abroad but have returned. The city is full of youngsters
with education, with world experience, with good will and good ideas.
Many metione the fact they have returned because here everything is possible
while western societies, where they have been living, are limited by an
overload of rules and regulations.
Most young people speak very well english, unlike France or Italy and
are very interested in new activities.
The old isolation probably made it too difficult for capitalism to concer
this country easily. The change goes slow and since we are member of the
society of friends of slow progress, we see the advantages of this slow
change. It gives people time to think about changes, to react on it and
to adjust on it in collective manner. In Kosovo, just on the other side
of teh Yugoslav border, the changes went that fast that normal people
have no more affinity with it. Albania does not have some much foreigners
and probably that is a good thing. In Albania there are only about 50
Dutch people of which half work for religious organizations. These people
try to convince the Albanian to become catholic or protestant. It is better
to bring the word of a Dutch god without succes then to bring petrol and
the monopoly in selling it.
Besides Albanian people are precize, positive and modest, they are also
proud. It is impossible to pay the bill f a restaurant or to buy a beer
as long as the host is able to do this him/herself. I guess this is why
the religious organizations are still in Albania. It is really hard to
convince only 2 million Albanian who have learned slowly and deeply, they
are Balkan, they are intercultural, interreligious and pluriform, they
are tolerant and selfminded.
Objectives : Create a future meeting
kilometer : 13285
Rama, new major of Tirana painted the city colorfull
: Edi Rama
Objectives : get the major for the Mobile Global Exhibition
Edi Rama profiled himself as painter we have invited him for the
mobile global exhibition. In the days we were there he was counting
the votes for the reelection so he had little time. We hope to
get back to him
Objectives : the color city
this street we met all artists that were not invited by our official
host. Specially Apartment 11 was used as meeting place.
Objectives : showing contrast
kilometer : 13296
our very positive story, off course not all things are great.
This is to show some contrast. Albania is full of contrast.
Objectives : being surprized
kilometer : 13295
things we imagined were wrong. We tried to be as neatral as possible.
Also this was wrong. The city is just good.
Objectives : on our way out of town
Kilometer : 13299
we wee getting out of town with some young artists, drinking macedonian
beer and smoking what ever availlable, we passed this building
which used to be the only place in Albania where film could be
made. All films were produced in this building.
: National Art Galery
Objectives : Mobile Global Exhibition
the parkingplace in front of the entrance, in a beautifull sun,
we have finally organized the Mobile Global Exhibition in which
a dozen of Albanian painters participated. Pictures of this exhibition
are shown on the mobile exhibition site.
Objectives : Ramadan celebration
Albania is not a religious country at all, of course most religions
are represented. This is a meeting just before Iftar at the mosque
at the main square in Tirana